Up wind battle


The crest of the wave crumbled and with a massive roar I was thrown across the cockpit the wave thundering down on top of me. Saucepans went flying across the room and ceramic mugs went shattering to the ground. The boat was slammed into a 360′ spin. I quickly scambled back into the companion way battered and bruised. The sails flogging, whipping and cracking. I turned around to look inside to see Slade wedge between two walls like a preymantis. No words were exchange but we both put harnesses on an jumped back into the flooded cockpit. The water sloshed up and down as wave after wave knocked us around.

We immediately spun the boat around and got her sailing again. Slade then went up and triple reefed the main. The batton in the main snapping causing the mainsail to flog making that horrific cracking sound and not being able to keep the sails shape. It was 2am and it was blowing atleast 40knots, the swell was big and confused. I was lucky I saw the wave coming and was able to get down low on the cockpit floor before the wave smacked me with all its force to the other side of the boat. The wave drowning me and washing me onto the winches on the deck.

This was a wake up call, normally we wear harnesses at night, but on this particular night I wasn’t venturing very far out into the cockpit so thought I would be fine. I was wrong, It was dark you couldn’t see the waves until they were on you. I will now always wear my harness as that wave proved that the cockpit that we think is so safe, is not.

After thanking my lucky stars I went ahead in bailing out the cockpit with a 1L bailer. Aproximately 60L of water sloshed about and I slowly slid about the cockpit throwing the water overboard.

Once again our passage was shitty. Our first day out we wallowed for 9hrs, drifting 11 nautical miles backwards while we bopped about with no wind. With no engine an unable to move we prayed for some wind. Finally the wind filled in and we were off.

Day 2,3,4 and 5 consisted of 30-35knots and a sizeable wind swell. We bounced about, waves breaking over us so much that I lost intrest in being scared. We had wind but now we had too much. We averaged about 3.5-4knots, the waves and our fully reefed sails slowing us right down.

On day 6 we sailed into Majuro, we had the boat Anahata come out to sail in with us, which was so nice. Once we had tacked our way back and forth up between big fishing vessel to the anchorage we hove to. We then had 3 other iflatable boats come and tie up along side of us. Form here they towed us through the mooring field to where another dinghy was waiting for us to tie us to our mooring. Once we were succesfully tied on Slade dropped the mainsail and the anchorage went up in cheers. We were safe, we had made it.

We sailed from Kiribati to majuro engineless ! Slade and I were very proud of our selves for the job we did. The anchorage also was very proud of us and gave us a very warm welcome. We then had boats who we have never met, cooking us dinner and doing all they could to help us get back on our feet after a long slog upwind. I couldnt believe the generosity we recieved and how proud everybody was of us.

To us it wasn’t a big deal. We were given a challenge and we had no choice but to except it. The girls during this passage did absolutly nothing except lay on the floor. I am not kidding you, our energy fuelled little gremlins lay on the floor and sung nursery rhymes and practiced counting. They were absolute angels and I couldn’t believe how lucky we were to have them so well behaved when we really needed them to be.

We are now in majuro where Slade has started pulling the engine apart to fix the gearbox. The kids and I are on a girly adventure, visiting museums, handicraft centres and grocery stores. Yes majuro has grocery stores that stock more then mackerel in tomato sauce. We will finally have food, no more starving ! ! one last thing, To the person who said we “were on a suicide mission to take on the Pacifc and the doldrums” We proved you wrong and we had the courage to take on our adventure. Which is more then you can say !



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